SHANNON C FINDS FIFTH TIME THE CHARM, BEATING WELDER, ALL-TIME WINNINGEST HORSE IN TRACK HISTORY, IN OKLAHOMA CLASSICS SPRINT
Twice last year, Welder, the all-time winningest horse in Remington Park history with 16 victories, had beaten Shannon C. Twice in 2018, Welder was an easy winner over Shannon C.
The fifth time is apparently the charm as Shannon C finally got the best of Welder, who made the final start of his career, running third in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint, presented by The Kaw Nation, on Friday night here.
“Shannon has been an iron horse from Day One,” said trainer Scott Young. “Today was his day. It took a while but he showed why his breeders, Bob and Ted (Smith), breed horses to Miranda Diane. It’s come full circle now. He got that Oklahoma Classics win that we’ve been shooting for, for what? The past four years.”
It was Young’s first trip to the winner’s circle in an Oklahoma Classics race as well as jockey Leandro Goncalves. Welder broke well, but veered out to the outside after leaving the gate. Shannon C, a 6-year-old gelding by Latent Heat, out of the Fistfite mare Miranda Diane, is a horse that likes to shoot for the front, but did not show that speed Friday night. Goncalves was mystified that Shannon C wasn’t on the early lead.
“He is one of the fastest horses out of the gate I’ve ever ridden, but not tonight,” said Goncalves. “So, I was waiting and when I asked him to run, he just took off and ran like he was the best horse today.”
“Leandro said he had to go to plan B (because of the slow break) and it worked,” Young said.
It was the second stakes win in a row to the versatile Shannon C. He had won the Remington Park Turf Sprint Stakes on Sept. 24. That was a 5-furlong sprint on the grass. Friday night’s win was a 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
Welder’s owner Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash of Claremore, Okla.), before the race had wished Young good luck.
“I’m glad if Welder had to lose it was to this horse,” said Rash. “It’s OK. I said before the race that win or lose, we would be retiring him and we’ll stick to that.”
“We knew it was time and we wanted him to retire sound and safe,” said Welder’s trainer Teri Luneack. “He has done everything we’ve ever asked of him and he didn’t owe us a thing going into this race.”
Now it seems a horse that Welder had beaten by 4-3/4 lengths, 6-1/4 lengths, 6-1/2 lengths and a neck, the last four times they faced each other may be the heir apparent as top Oklahoma-bred sprinter on the grounds. Welder had won this race the past three years in a row and was trying to tie Highland Ice and Okie Ride for four wins in this race.
Shannon C drew away impressively at the end, winning by three lengths at 5-1 odds. He paid $12.80, $6.40 and $3.20 across the board. Young trained horses ran 1-2 in the race as Mesa Moon (2-1) held off Welder by one length.
The remaining order of finish in the Classics Sprint was Euromantic (4th), Fast Breakin Cash (5th), No Lak of Speed (6th), Fly to the Bank (7th) and D Toz (8th).
Shannon C earned $78,000 for the win and improved to 27 starts, seven wins, 11 seconds and two thirds for $368,766 in earnings. He chased early fractions set by Fly to the Bank of :22.15 for the first quarter-mile, :45.30 for the half-mile, :57.68 for five-eighths of a mile and a final time of 1:10.12. He was bred by B and S Racing of Springfield, Mo., the owner.
The Sprint was the first win in the Oklahoma Classics for all of the connections.
Welder was sent off as the wagering favorite at 4-5 odds in his final race. He finishes his career with 16 wins at Remington Park and a final record of 44 starts, 27 wins, five seconds and seven thirds for $1,265,031 in earnings. He holds records at Remington Park as the only three-time Horse of the Meet, the six-furlong sprint record of 1:08.13 in the 2019 David M. Vance Stakes, three-time Oklahoma Horse of the Year, the only horse to win four stakes races in one meet at Remington Park and a record 11 stakes wins in a row here.
The Oklahoma Classics is a $1,000,000 series of stakes races devoted to Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Oct. 16 with the first race at 7:07pm-central.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $272 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is home for the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes, on Friday, Oct. 29. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.